I wasn't sure what to expect when I clicked on the link to Pete's SoundCloud but was very pleasantly surprised.
'Pretty Smiles' is a relatively slow/mid tempo song that reminds me of artists such as Tor Miller and Passenger in that Pete has managed to combine beautiful melodies with a well written narrative.
The song starts with a simple clap and drum beat accompanied by what I would describe as a pretty xylophone sounding pattern. This subtle beginning helps to showcase Pete's raw vocal from the start.
Claps help to punctuate the music and drive the song forward as well as provide a great beat.
'It ain't easy, when you're falling in love with a ghost all damn night' is the main lyric of the memorable chorus. The chilled beats from the introduction are now met by more complex patterns, providing a thicker texture, adding interest.
As for the verses, they are very intricately written - telling a story with each word.
I also like the fact that Pete's Irish accent comes through in the vocal.
There is a slow build up to the final verse where the drums and guitars get a bit more intense while still keeping the pretty melodies. This culminates in the final chorus which is just massive.
I can imagine this song sounding perfect on a summer's drive or at a festival with a crowd singing along.
Towards the very end, the song breaks down to a single acoustic guitar on a layer of softer sound to emphasise the lyrics 'you're someone else's dear and your taxi's almost here', mirroring the beginning line of the song. You feel a powerful sense of emotion in this part of the track.
To end, the guitars are just left to drift which, personally, I think is a perfect way to finish - it's almost like the person is watching someone walk away, or something to that effect.
Overall, everything fits together really well, forming a great pop inspired track. This is to be expected as it is pulled from Pete's forthcoming debut album produced by three times Mercury Prize winner Tommy McLaughlin of Villagers fame and mixed by Ash Howes who has worked with the likes of Ellie Goulding and Dido.
'Pretty Smiles' is polished yet retains a powerful sense of emotion.
I am excited to hear more from Pete Gardiner in the future.
Until next time...
To find out more about Pete please click here: http://petegardiner.co.uk/